Chelsea has the highest rate of COVID-19 infection in Massachusetts. Everyone, STAY HOME, at all hours, unless you must travel for essential reasons such as essential work, essential food, or essential medication.
- Check this page regularly; it is updated on an ongoing basis.
- Sign up for urgent updates via city text, email, and phone alerts.
- Check the City of Chelsea Facebook page.
- Watch live updates from City Manager Tom Ambrosino on Monday nights at 6pm, on Chelsea Community Cable (Channel 22 Comcast) and Facebook Live.
- If you have questions about getting help with rent, food, or other basic needs, call 311 (617-466-4209).
Latest Announcements: June 3, 2020
COVID-19 Status in Chelsea
4 new cases have been reported today. As of today, there are 1,346 patients who have recovered from COVID-19 and a total of 2,645 confirmed cases. While most people recover from infection, the coronavirus is a serious enemy, and thus far has caused the death of 148 residents in Chelsea. We mourn their loss.
To prevent the further spread of this virus, we ask that you continue to protect yourselves and the community through physical distancing, wearing face coverings, frequent hand washing and cleaning, and prompt medical care and quarantine for those who are sick.
Accessing Your P-EBT Food Benefits
Pandemic-EBT, or P-EBT, is a federal benefit from SNAP during the COVID-19 epidemic. If you have school-aged children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, you either should have received or will soon receive a P-EBT card in the mail.
*Important* instructions on how to activate your card: When you call the phone number on the back of your P-EBT card, the automated phone system will prompt you to enter the last four digits of your social security number – do NOT do this. INSTEAD, enter the last four digits of your child's case number, which is in the letter you should have received in the mail from the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA). See the Project Bread website for full instructions.
If you do not have your DTA letter: You will need the letter sent to you from the DTA to activate your P-EBT card. If you lost the letter or never received one, call the DTA Assistance Line at 877-382-2364.
If you do not have your P-EBT card: If you do not receive the card in 14 days, call the Project Bread FoodSource Hotline at 800-645-8333.
Everyone Can Get Help.
Cualquier persona puede recibir ayuda.
Todos podem obter ajuda.
Tout moun kapab jwenn èd.
Qofkasta waxauu heli kaaraa kalkaalin.
Mọi người có thể nhận được sự giúp đỡ.
Svi mogu dobit pomoć.
يمكن للجميع الحصول على المساعدة
COVID-19 Symptom Self-Checker
If you think you may have COVID-19, use this self assessment from the CDC.
- sore throat
- runny nose or nasal congestion
- muscle aches
- shortness of breath
- loss of smell
IF YOU HAVE EMERGENCY SYMPTOMS, CALL 911 RIGHT AWAY. Emergency symptoms include: chest pain or pressure, dizziness or confusion, or bluish lips or face.
COVID-19 testing is a free service for Chelsea residents to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. To be tested, you do not need to be a patient of the clinic, you do not need health insurance, and your immigration status does not matter. Any testing or medical care for COVID-19 is not considered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as part of a public charge inadmissibility determination, which means that it will not negatively affect your ability to get a green card or makes other changes to your non-immigrant status. (If you have questions, call the Lawyers for Civil Rights hotline at 617-988-0609.)
If You Have Symptoms or Have Been in Close Contact with Someone Sick with COVID-19:
Beth Israel and MGH both offer testing for people who are sick or have been in contact with someone sick. Walk-ins are accepted but appointments are strongly encouraged. When making an appointment, let the clinic know if you need respiratory care due to a preexisting condition or severe respiratory symptoms.
Anyone Who Lives in Chelsea:
The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center offers testing to Chelsea residents. Unlike testing at MGH and Beth Israel, this testing is for anyone – you do not need to have COVID-19 symptoms. Appointments are required (no walk-ins are allowed). To schedule an appointment, call 617-569-5800.
Temporary Housing at the Quality Inn to Safely Recover from COVID-19
If you've tested positive for COVID-19 or your doctor has told you that you likely have the virus, you may be able to stay at the Quality Inn in Revere. The Inn is a safe, comfortable place to recover, especially for those who cannot self-isolate at home. Guests are provided with medical care, meals, and hygiene supplies, and there will be on-site healthcare professionals, mental health professionals, and security. To see about availability and eligibility, call 617-819-4528.
Shopping Hours and Medication for Seniors
To protect our seniors, Stop & Shop and Market Basket have shopping hours exclusively for customers 60 and older:
- Stop & Shop: 6:30am-7:30am daily
- Market Basket: 5:30am-7am Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
Walgreens and CVS provide deliveries for medication. Click here for more information.
Mandatory Face Coverings
This is for everyone's safety. Even people with no symptoms can still carry COVID-19, which means you can infect others by speaking, coughing, or sneezing near others. Wearing a mask helps to prevent you from accidentally passing the virus to others, and it helps to keep you from being infected. Take a look at this flyer for more information.
How to Prevent Infection
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed. Stay home when you can. Other important precautions:
- Wash your hands often:
- BEFORE going to a public space, before interacting with someone else, before eating, or before touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- AFTER being in a public space, touching anything outside your home, blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If there isn't soap and water on hand, disinfect your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
- Cough or sneeze into your inner elbow, or cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue. (Throw away the tissue and then wash your hands.)
- Use disinfecting wipes to wipe down things you touch often, like doorknobs, light switches, phones, computers, and laptops. Disinfect thermometers with alcohol or soap and water after every use.
Closures, Restricted Gatherings, and Physical Distancing
Governor Baker has issued an Emergency Order that limits indoor or outdoor gatherings to no more than 10 people. It is also recommended to leave home only when necessary and to keep a six foot distance from others when outside your home ("social distancing").
Closed Public Spaces, Institutions, and Businesses
- Parks and playgrounds
- Tennis courts, basketball courts, and athletic fields
- Schools and daycare facilities
- Nonessential retail
- Restaurants (takeout or delivery only)
- Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) - by appointment only
If you have plans to travel, there may be restrictions for traveling to your destination. Check the CDC travel guidance for location-specific recommendations.
If you have left the state, Governor Baker requires that you self-quarantine for 14 days when you return to Massachusetts.
Advice about pets, from HubCats Chelsea.
Stay compassionate, help others, and prevent stigma. Consider offering to help any elderly neighbors or others who may need assistance in preparing. No one should face discrimination or mistreatment based on a public health situation. Viruses do not discriminate.
This is a difficult time. If you need to talk to someone, there is help:
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides crisis counseling during times of disaster. Call their Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990.
- Students can speak with a social worker through Chelsea Public Schools by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, school, and preferred method of contact. You should receive a response in 24 to 72 hours.
- For emergency crises, call the Boston Emergency Services Team (BEST) at 1-800-981-HELP. They can dispatch clinicians to come to you, if needed.
- If you have suicidal thoughts, call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 (1-888-628-9454 for Spanish speakers).
Other Official Public Health Resources:
WHAT TO DO IF YOU NEED FOOD
There is help. With the service and hard work from local and national organizations, faith institutions, and volunteers, you have options if you need food. Here’s what you need to know.
If you are sick and need food:
Do not wait in line for food. Call 311 (617-466-4209).
If you are 65 years or older:
Contact the Chelsea Senior Center for grocery deliveries. Call 617-466-4377 or 617-466-4370.
If you have children who need food:
Your children can receive free breakfast and lunch Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Pick-up is 11:30 am-1pm at these locations (pick the location closest to your home):
- Early Learning Center
- MCB Complex
- Williams School
- Clark Ave School
- Voke Park
If you are not sick and need food:
- Monday-Friday: Hot lunches and kids lunches at 11:30am at Salvation Army (258 Chestnut Street)
- Monday-Friday: Pop-up food pantries for grocery pick-up. 11am-1pm at rotating locations. Click here for details.
- Tuesdays and Thursdays: Grocery pick-up 10am-12pm at the Salvation Army (258 Chestnut Street)
- Tuesdays and Thursdays: Grocery pick-up at 5pm at the Chelsea Collaborative (318 Broadway)
- Thursdays and Fridays: Mass General Hospital Food For Families Pantry (151 Everett Avenue). Available 2X per month to MGH patients by referral. Please call 617-887-3575
- Saturdays: Meals available 8:30am-1pm at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church (201 Washington Avenue, Chelsea). You can also register to receive a monthly bag of groceries by appointment 1 time/month. Please call 617-884-4278
Pandemic-EBT, or P-EBT, is a federal benefit from SNAP during the COVID-19 epidemic. It provides $5.70 per child per day for every day school is closed to help pay for food during this time. You are eligible if you have school aged children who qualify for free or reduced price school meals (your immigration status does not matter). You will receive a letter and P-EBT card in the mail in late May to early June. If you do not get a letter by mid June, call the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) Assistance Line at 877-382-2364. See the Project Bread website for more information.
Help Paying Rent
Any residents who cannot pay rent or need to find affordable housing should explore these options:
Massachusetts Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) Program
RAFT has expanded its eligibility requirements to help people with COVID-19 related job losses or financial hardship. Click here to apply.
Housing Choice Voucher Program and other rental voucher programs
Vouchers are an option for low-income families to help pay for privately owned housing. Call the Chelsea Housing Authority at 617-409-5310 to learn more.
You can apply for public housing with the help of the Chelsea Housing Authority at 617-409-5310. You can also browse affordable housing listings and learn more about eligibility through the web portals found here.
The Neighborhood Developers' CONNECT Hotline is a service for residents of Chelsea, Revere, and Everett to help in:
- Explaining eligibility for RAFT emergency rental funds and help with the RAFT application
- Identifying other housing resources you may qualify for
- Applying for SNAP "food stamp" benefits
- Applying for unemployment benefits
- Free tax preparation
- Technology assistance, such as with internet
- Questions about stimulus checks (Economic Impact Payments, or EIP)
Due to the extremely large number of people seeking housing assistance, please be aware that it often takes a week or longer to hear back from someone. Please be patient and don't give up. Call 617-712-3487 to request help.
Massachusetts law prevents all evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 pandemic (except for evictions based on behavior that puts health and safety at risk). If you cannot pay rent during this time, your landlord cannot evict you, move your belongings, or shut off your utilities (like heat and water). If your landlord does try these things, call the Chelsea Police at 617-466-4855. For questions or legal help, contact Chelsea Collaborative at 617-889-6080 or Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) at 617-603-1807. Click here for more information.
One Chelsea Fund
The One Chelsea Fund is a donation-based fund to provide checks to Chelsea residents who need financial help during this time. Funds are distributed in order of applications received and are dependent on donations. Click here to apply.
The Attorney General currently prohibits debt collectors from filing new lawsuits against Massachusetts consumers, visiting their homes or places of work, repossessing their car, or requiring them to leave their homes or have in-person contact. Call 617-727-8400 if you experience aggressive debt collection or predatory lending during this public health emergency.
Unemployment and Sick Leave
If you are unable to work because you are sick with COVID-19, you may be eligible for paid sick leave. Click here for more information.
Free or Low-Cost Internet
Many service providers currently offer free or low-cost internet services for low-income households or Residents in HUD-assisted housing (i.e., public housing, housing choice voucher/section 8, affordable housing). Click here for more information.
Loans for Small Businesses During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Learn more about:
- The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
- SBA Debt Relief
- Economic Injury Disaster Loans
- The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance
- Express Bridge Loan Program
Information and Resources for Small Businesses from the Chelsea Business Foundation.
Price gouging is when a business unfairly increases prices due to sudden high demand. The Attorney General’s office has prohibited price gouging on essential items. Click here to submit a complaint.
Reusable Bags Temporarily Not Allowed
To prevent contamination, Governor Baker has temporarily banned customers from using their own reusable bags in stores. Stores should use their own bags.
Your business cannot be evicted during this time. Massachusetts law prevents all evictions – including of small businesses – during the COVID-19 pandemic. See "Tenant Rights" above for more information.
City Hall Access
As of June 1, City Hall has reopened with limited services and guests must enter through the Washington Avenue entrance. Residents can come to City Hall to pay city bills and get new parking passes; however, online payments and services are still available online and are encouraged when possible.
If you need services from the City Clerk or Treasury offices, the day you can visit depends on your home address:
- For those living on a street starting with 'A' through 'Clark': visit on Mondays from 9am to 3pm
- 'Clinton' through 'H': visit on Tuesdays from 9am to 3pm
- 'G' through 'R': visit on Wednesdays from 9am to 3pm
- 'S' through 'Z': visit on Thursdays from 9am to 3pm
- All residents or non residents: visit on Tuesdays from 4pm to 6pm or Fridays from 9am to 12pm
For all other departments, you must first schedule an appointment by calling 311 (or 617-466-4209 if outside city limits).
Bill Due Dates
Due dates for tax bills, excise bills, water and sewer bills, and parking tickets that were originally due on or after March 10 have been extended to June 1 or later:
- All bills that were due on or after March 10 can be paid until June 29 without penalty. Bills paid June 30 or later will have interest accrued back to June 1.
- Parking tickets issued February 22 or later are due (or must be appealed by) June 29.
- Applications for residential parking stickers are due August 1.
- Parking enforcement for all infractions began June 1.
Weddings at City Hall
Couples wanting to get married should wait until City Hall opens again to apply. If you have already applied for your marriage license and need to pick it up, please call 617-466-4050 to make arrangements.
Library Cards and Fines
The Chelsea Public Library will not charge any fines for overdue items until June 30th and no item is due until July 1. If you do not have a library card but want to access online resources (movies, audiobooks, online learning), read about how to apply for a card online.
Chelsea Public Schools
Schools are closed for the end of the school year, as ordered by Governor Baker. Chelsea Public Schools will continue with remote learning. Visit www.chelseaschools.com for more information. Online resources for teachers and parents are available at CPS Educational Digital Resources.
Chelsea Community Schools
Community programs offered by Chelsea Community Schools will be cancelled until further notice. If you are currently enrolled in a class, you will be given a credit for the fee paid to use towards a future class later this year. For organizations using the community school facilities at the Williams or Clark Avenue Schools, your organization can request a refund or credit towards future space to use by December 2021. To learn about the ongoing virtual activities, visit the Chelsea Recreation and Cultural Affairs website.
All MBTA services are running on a reduced schedule until further notice. It is strongly encouraged to wear masks while using public transit. Visit the MBTA website for information on MBTA's services and protocols during this time.
One Chelsea Fund
Chelsea residents face an incredibly difficult time right now. Many need urgent help. The One Chelsea Fund was created to distribute funds to help cover basic needs. If you can, please consider donating to the One Chelsea Fund through United Way. None of the dollars raised will go to any organization. Your gift will go entirely to families and will be distributed as $250 payments to households.
Diaper Drive for Families in Need
Chelsea Community Connections and the City of Chelsea are working together to distribute diapers to families in need. If you would like to donate to the Diaper Drive, you can do so at the Chelsea Community Connections donation page. Your gift will ensure our youngest Chelsea residents have their basic needs met.
Call for Volunteers
The Chelsea Pandemic Response Team is looking for volunteers. Learn more and sign up.
It is important to maintain blood supply during the pandemic for all patients who need it. Healthy people willing to donate blood are encouraged to contact the Red Cross and make an appointment.